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manuelchk

Why Comteks?

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So many sound ppl are using comteks nowadays as their IFB solution but I recently used them for a bigger production and to be honest... they sound HORRIBLE...

 

How are you people sacrificing sound quality that much for director, Scripty and producers?

 

I know the range is great, they are sturdy, easy to use, don’t interfere with the rest of your RF spectrum, etc, but I didn’t know they sound THAT bad...

 

I use Senheiser G3 IFBs and the sound is incredibly good, good range, easy to use but not that sturdy... I’m pretty sure Lextrosonics and Zaxcom are good too.

 

Just wanted to hear your opinions.

 

Best,

Manuel.

 

 

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For all the people that leave them under bushes, in gutters, on pass vans, swing them around by the cord, drop them constantly, and leave them all over the floor, they sound fantastic.

 

They are for monitoring content... for that they work just fine..

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For all the people that leave them under bushes, in gutters, on pass vans, swing them around by the cord, drop them constantly, and leave them all over the floor, they sound fantastic.


Haha, that make sense :)

But sometimes you find director and Scripty that are careful with your equipment and they would love a better quality...

For producers and clients of course comteks are the best


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26 minutes ago, afewmoreyears said:

You can always use 2 Lectro IFBs for a couple folks who may actually need to hear some quality.. put everyone else on Comteks..

 

Yep.  Just that.

 

D.

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6 hours ago, afewmoreyears said:

For all the people that leave them under bushes, in gutters, on pass vans, swing them around by the cord, drop them constantly, and leave them all over the floor, they sound fantastic.

 

They are for monitoring content... for that they work just fine..

 

Exactly why I switched to R1A's, and they really do sound fantastic. They are solid and take the knocks. Apart from the odd bit of cosmetic damage I have only had one fail in over 10 years from a kit of 14. I find the headphones are more prone to damage and abuse than anything else. If an R1A did get completely trashed or lost I would be billing Production anyway.

 

Steve

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The main reasons why many people use comteks over better sounding brands is because the range is pretty good, they’re not too pricey, and if they sound too good to anybody else listening, then you’d be potentially dealing with back seat drivers. That is to say, you’ll get more people interfering with your work and methods if they can hear every little detail. They need to hear the dialogue and nothing else. 

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The main reasons why many people use comteks over better sounding brands is because the range is pretty good, they’re not too pricey, and if they sound too good to anybody else listening, then you’d be potentially dealing with back seat drivers. That is to say, you’ll get more people interfering with your work and methods if they can hear every little detail. They need to hear the dialogue and nothing else. 


This.

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16 hours ago, Steve Foy said:

 

Exactly why I switched to R1A's, and they really do sound fantastic. They are solid and take the knocks. Apart from the odd bit of cosmetic damage I have only had one fail in over 10 years from a kit of 14. I find the headphones are more prone to damage and abuse than anything else. If an R1A did get completely trashed or lost I would be billing Production anyway.

 

Steve

Fantastic?  Better than a Comtek perhaps, but not that much to my old ears. Been doing commercials for decades and as much as I think Comteks sound like (whatever), no one else has ever complained. I mean big name directors wear em like all who need them. Everyone seems to know it's reference, not final product.

+ one to all stated above.

CrewC

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The main reasons why many people use comteks over better sounding brands is because the range is pretty good, they’re not too pricey, and if they sound too good to anybody else listening, then you’d be potentially dealing with back seat drivers. That is to say, you’ll get more people interfering with your work and methods if they can hear every little detail. They need to hear the dialogue and nothing else. 

 

I think these are the best reasons I can think of too, just surprised me how bad they sound in comparison to any other option...

 

Best,

Manuel.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

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If you are using these for boom monitoring, I’ve had a number of boom ops say that they prefer a good comtek signal over an alternative simply because when used with a base station and mini mite/phase right antenna, the range can out perform a lot of other options. But yeah, the quality is not great. However, some of the best boom ops I’ve worked with don’t mind them. 

 

Theyre also good to have because if you need to rent more of them for a specific job, they’re cheap to rent and everyone has them in stock. 

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In addition to all of Jon’s reasons, I think there are several others to consider.

 

The term “Comtek” has become interchangeable with “IFB” on narrative sets. That means that producers/clients are likely expecting a Comtek receiver, and are already comfortable with the device. Since managing expectations is such a big part of our job, this is one area where it’s easy to deliver exactly what is expected.

 

Rental charges are likely the same whether you’re delivering a PR-216, a Lectro, Zaxcom, Shure, or any other brand of IFB. So for a lot of sound mixers, it doesn’t make financial sense to pay for something that will take longer to yield a full return on its investment. 

 

To me, using Comteks is a bit like AM radio. AM radio still has its has its place in the world. When you’re listening to AM, you’re listening for content that is broadcast far and wide, not fidelity. 

 

We could all make long lists of the pros and cons of each brand’s answers to IFB. Luckily there’s no shortage of options. 

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I pass out between 10-20 sets of Comteks per day working 150-200 days per year.

Whatever you pass out will get trashed no matter what you say when they go out.

There is always L&D to them and it happens often with folks taking them away or dropping them or ....

When I put in an L&D quote for a Comtek it comes in at about half the price of an iFB.

Producers definitely have looked at me sideways when I've submitted quotes for IFBs versus Comteks as they know what a Comtek costs as it's a common item of L&D on all levels of production. I've also had production folks act as if that I'm trying to put one over on them when I've done so on the IFB version of replacing said item.  

The IFBs are definitely better sounding. Not perfect but all things considered. I use Comteks.

 

And let's not even get into battery life and the like and either having to go the Lithium route or change batteries after searching the IFB units down.

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On 4/3/2018 at 12:46 AM, JonG said:

The main reasons why many people use comteks over better sounding brands is because the range is pretty good, they’re not too pricey, and if they sound too good to anybody else listening, then you’d be potentially dealing with back seat drivers. That is to say, you’ll get more people interfering with your work and methods if they can hear every little detail. They need to hear the dialogue and nothing else. 

+1

 

Everyone knows they're just for reference so nobody cares too much about the audio quality, they're virtually indestructible (which is good when people leave them around like cups of coffee), battery life speaks for itself, as does price point, and the range is a big + for me, it's nice when people at the far reaches of set can hear that we're in the middle of a take incase lockdown wasn't called by them or what have you, & everywhere has them stocked by the dozens for last minute rentals. Noticed it tends to work best for monitoring in follow vehicles as well. (In my experience).

 

If they can hear the dialogue, job done.

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5 hours ago, juanignacio said:

Slightly off topic...

Curious if any one has a hack to fit a block lithium 9 volt into a comtek receiver.  

What is a block lithium 9 volt?

I have been using iPower 9v lithium batteries for years in all my Comtek 216s, both M216s and PR

 216s. They work well and last for an acceptably long time on a charge.

 

 

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On 4/8/2018 at 9:24 AM, juanignacio said:

Slightly off topic...

Curious if any one has a hack to fit a block lithium 9 volt into a comtek receiver.  

do you mean a 9v battery eliminator?

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Audio Department was developing a battery eliminator, but after a few prototypes decided against selling them because the modifications necessary to make to the Comtek itself weren’t favorable options or some such business. I’d say that IF Comtek were to make modified bodies and battery compartment parts to support a battery eliminator, AD may decide to pursue the idea again. 

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On 4/8/2018 at 10:24 AM, juanignacio said:

Slightly off topic...

Curious if any one has a hack to fit a block lithium 9 volt into a comtek receiver.  

 

For the lectro batt eliminator - Drill bit and a rubber gromet does the trick

 

-Ken

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On 4/8/2018 at 3:45 PM, Jim Rillie said:

There are some lithium 9v's that energizer makes and Dynamis that are a slightly different shape than regular 9v's.  I can get them to fit in my Comtek transmitter but I'm unable to close the door.   Was curious if anyone else uses them and has a trick or two.

 

  

image.pngGEY2008022.jpg?itok=u6QJSJkY

 

What is a block lithium 9 volt?

I have been using iPower 9v lithium batteries for years in all my Comtek 216s, both M216s and PR

 216s. They work well and last for an acceptably long time on a charge.

 

 

 

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